Program Overview

The Northern New Mexico Master Naturalist Program trains individuals to become stewards of New Mexico’s natural environment, resources, and heritage. This is done through a combination of classroom and field instruction and volunteer work.

A Master Naturalist Trainee will complete a minimum of 55 hours of classroom and field instruction before advancing on to become a Master Naturalist Intern. Master Naturalist Interns will complete a minimum of 30 hours of volunteer work with one of our partner organizations within 12 months of completing their classroom and field instruction.

Thereafter, to maintain Master Naturalist certification, individuals must complete a minimum of 25 hours of volunteer work and 5 hours of continuing education annually.

2021

Registration for the 2021 Fall Cohort has closed and the course is full

Payment is due upon registration. Limited scholarships are available for those who would not be able to participate otherwise. Cohort size is limited, so please sign up soon. We have a waitlist each year. Registrants are expected to participate in all 13 weeks of lecture, discussion, and outdoor field trips, as well as the requisite volunteer hours following completing of the Fall coursework.

The 2021 Northern NM Master Naturalist course will utilize a hybrid model. Each week, there will be two online sessions (one lecture and one group discussion/activity) on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7:00-8:30pm. There will also be in-person field trips to various locations in Santa Fe County on five Saturday mornings throughout the program. Participants will be offered a self-guided field trip alternative, should they miss any of the in-person opportunities.

The course will run August 17 through November 11, 2021.


Course Description

The Northern New Mexico Master Naturalist Program is held annually and runs for 13 weeks, from mid August to early November.

Location

The course is held in Santa Fe, NM at various locations hosted by our partners. Field trips are offered at various location around northern NM, typically no more than a 1-hour drive from Santa Fe.

Due to COVID-19, the 2021 course will use an online platform for weekly lectures and group discussions. Field trips will be in-person following COVID-19 safety protocols.

Time Commitment

The course is 13 weeks long and provides a minimum of 58 hours of classroom and field instruction. Class sessions are held weekly, and there are five Saturday morning field trips held throughout the course.


Course Goals

  • Cultivate a deeper understanding and esteem of the natural world among participants 
  • Through a combination of classroom and field instruction, equip, and empower participants with the knowledge and skills needed to be successful Master Naturalists 
  • Develop a group of capable and committed volunteers who will give back to the community through service projects 
  • Foster a learning environment in which participants are welcome to share and build upon previous experiences, while also being encouraged to actively engage with new ideas
  • Provide meaningful volunteer opportunities for participants that will apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired in the course towards the stewardship of the natural environment 
  • Maintain the involvement of certified Master Naturalists Volunteers after completion of the program through continuing education and service opportunities

Curriculum

The Northern New Mexico Master Naturalist course provides an introduction to the natural history and ecology of New Mexico and to the environmental issues facing our region. Community experts from local organizations join us on Tuesdays to teach about that week’s topic.

Topics

GeologyWater Issues
Soil HealthWildfires
Botany Ranching
Vertebrates Environmental Justice
InvertebratesClimate Change
Ecology & SystemsStewardship
Land EthicsScience Communication

Service Projects

Participants are required to complete 30 hours of volunteer work with one of our partner organizations within 12 months of completing the course. Generally, service projects will relate to one or more of the following:

Natural Resource Restoration

Education and Outreach

Research Projects

Administrative Efforts